The Christian Super Bowl Ad They SHOULD Have Made

News Image By SA McCarthy/The Washington Stand February 19, 2024
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A Christian pastor is sharing what he says would have been a more effective message than the "He Gets Us" ad that debuted on Super Bowl Sunday. Jamie Bambrick, the associate pastor of Hope Church Craigavon in Northern Ireland, posted a video to social media on Tuesday entitled "He Saves Us." 

The pastor said that the "He Gets Us" commercial may have been "perhaps well-intentioned" but ultimately "failed to convey anything of the gospel to the hundreds of millions who saw it." Featuring real-life public figures instead of AI-generated images of people who don't exist, Bambrick's video already has over two million views on Twitter and nearly 300,000 on YouTube.

The video begins with an image of celebrity Kat Von D, a celebrity tattoo artist who abandoned witchcraft last year to become baptized a Christian, accompanied by the words, "former witch." Next up is Josh Timonen, who worked on the book "The God Delusion" with prominent atheist apologist Richard Dawkins before converting to Christianity. 

The ad cycles through a whole host of real-life individuals who left behind their sinful pasts to embrace Christianity: other titles include "former jihadist," "former KKK member," "former drug addict," "former gang leader," "former drag queen & prostitute," "former abortionist," "former transgender," "former pornstar," "former new age guru," and "former lesbian activist," always with the word "former" highlighted in yellow.

Bambrick's video says, "Jesus doesn't just get us. He saves us. He transforms us. He cleanses us. He restores us. He forgives us. He heals us. He delivers us. He redeems us. He loves us." It ends with the words, "Such were some of you," a reference to 1 Corinthians 6:11, which reads, "And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God."

The "He Gets Us" ad depicted still images of people washing the feet of others, in obvious imitation of Christ (John 13:2-17), but generated almost instant backlash from Christians online and around the globe. Like Bambrick, many said that the commercial was likely "well-intentioned," but some criticized it for seemingly condoning grave sins (such as abortion or sexual immorality) and others said the ad was too politicized, with a clear left-wing bias.

Andrew T. Walker, a professor at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, explained, "'He Gets Us' framed evangelism with a leftward tinge, communicating the respectability of certain sins over others in our culture..." He added, "The socially high-status sins of the Left are the ones Christians are told to evangelize, not the low-status sins of the Deplorable Right because, it seems, they are the ones truly outside redemption's reach."

Walker also noted the commercial's framing of political conservatives as those who have forgotten the commercial's message, "Jesus never taught hate." The professor said, "It is curious that Jesus never showed up washing feet at a MAGA rally, a truck stop porn store in Alabama, to dilapidated and drugged-out factory workers in Ohio, or a white nationalist militia meeting in Michigan. ... How would we respond to Jesus washing the feet of someone outside the Capitol on January 6?"

Joel Berry, managing editor of The Babylon Bee, said that the "He Gets Us" ad was "strictly following oppressed v oppressor intersectionality guidelines." He posited that this means the ad's makers were either "trying to sell Jesus to Leftists by hinting Jesus thinks just like them, or ... cynically using Jesus to sell a political movement." Posting a picture of the cross, Berry added, "There's one thing Jesus did for sinners that was an infinitely more powerful and beautiful gesture of love than washing feet -- and the 'He Gets Us' ad didn't even show it."

Ryan Visconti, a pastor and U.S. military veteran, explained, "The biggest problem with the 'He Gets Us' ads is that they ultimately reinforce the cultural stigma that Christians are hateful if we do anything other than wash feet. The culture may allow our demonstrations of love, but won't allow us to speak the truth in love." Joe Rigney, a theology fellow at the New Saint Andrews College, quipped, "Foot washing in the Bible: part of Christ commissioning humble Christian leaders. Foot massage in the ['He Gets Us'] ad: part of reinforcing the woke hierarchy by identifying who is a special object of affirmation (and who isn't)."

The Babylon Bee produced its own parody of the "He Gets Us" ad, channeling C.S. Lewis's Screwtape. That video depicts a homosexual couple toasting each other, with the words, "He accepts you just as you are," followed by a montage of images depicting other sins common in America today, such as gluttony, drug abuse, looting, and rioting. 

"He never wants you to change," the parody ad continues. "He believes in you. He affirms everything about you. Especially your sin. He wants to be with you in eternity... forever." The ad ends with the following words coming up on screen: "Satan. He gets us."

Watch Bambrick's 'He Saves Us" alternative video here:

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